Press the Pause Button – Questions to consider before Firing Employees

Employee motivationShowing an employee the door is always an unwelcome task. Especially if it is on account of poor performance. As a business owner, you would have wanted your employee to succeed and perhaps have given them every chance. But alas it didn’t work out. For the health of your business, you cannot afford to keep employees who are chronic poor performers. It is extremely difficult to know when its is the right time for firing an employee. However, help is at hand . There are a few time tested questions which assist you enormously in making the right decision.

Did you set expectations and does the employee understand them?

Perhaps there has been a misunderstanding. It has been noted that almost half ie 50 percent of the the disciplinary actions taken in any given company, have something to do with a lapse in communication between the manager and the employee. The employee’s expectations should be clearly set out in detail right from the beginning. Further, before the drastic decision of firing the employee , he/she should be asked as to how she or he will try to fulfill the requirements. Transparent talk always clears the air.

Is the employee facing organizational hurdles in your company?

It is possible that some of your company’s rules, procedures, policies or the ever present menace of internal politics are creating hurdles. If there are any such speed bumps in the way of the employee in your organization, this can be sorted out. However if the employee themselves generate roadblocks , it is not your responsibility to deal with issues which are personal.

Has the employee been trained in-house or is fully trained?

You may have taken a fully trained employee or may have undertaken to train them in house. Every organization differs in its way of operation and it should be taken into consideration that the employee needs to get adjusted to your company culture, the systems, the polices, the procedures. You need to make sure that the employee is adequately trained and is getting enough practice to become adept at the new skills. Hasty decisions of firing employees in such a situation is not wise.

Have you been giving your employees enough motivation?

Every organization has to maintain a fine balance. A workplace that sorely lacks motivation or an environment which panders to employees’ wishes are both unacceptable and dysfunctional. When an employee is praised for a job which is well done, the person most often tends to repeat the performance. But if performance is poor, this negative feed back should also be communicated to the employee. It will make the job easier for the manager in the long run.

Does the employee have the capability and willingness to work

If the all the above questions have been answered, then you would have assessed where the employee stands. Perhaps the employee isn’t’ suitable for the job, or for some reason or the other, is unwilling to perform. In such a case there is no beating around the bush. Termination of the employee is the only course to adopt.

Entrepreneurial Learning

It is difficult to know when it’s the right time to fire an employee whose performance is poor. The five questions above will prevent you from making mistakes and enable you to take reasonable steps to rectify the situation and help employees to succeed or call its quits.

Image courtesy of [Ambro] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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